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The Hunger Strike Has Reached a Critical Stage.

PDP (HDP) deputy Leyla Güven is on the 90th day of hunger strike she has gone on demanding that “The government should ensure that Öcalan’s contacts with his lawyers and family.” Journalist Sabiha Temizkan, daughter of Leyla Güven stated that “her mother’s health condition is at the critical stage”. There are still 315 people those are on hunger strike and 295 of them are in prison.

İrfan Uçar

As of the date of  February 5th 2019, PDP (HDP) deputy Leyla Güven is on the 90th day of hunger strike she has gone on demanding regular contact rights for Abdullah Öcalan’s with his lawyers and family, who is at İmralı Prison. Meanwhile, Sabiha Temizkan, Güven’s daughter and a journalist, stated that “My mother’s health condition is at the critical stage”, PDP Group began the sit-in in the Asembly Hall until the morning.

Leyla Güven, Co-Chair of Democratic Society Congress and Hakkari Deputy of PDP, went on hunger strike on November 8th 2018 when she was at Diyarbakır Type E Prison and her hunger strike is at critical stage now. Leyla Güven, who went on hunger strike for the purpose of regular contact rights for Abdullah Öcalan, who is imprisoned at İmralı, with his lawyers and family was released on January 26th, 2019 and she has been continuing her hunger strike at her house.

Sabiha Temizkan, daughter of Leyla Güven and a journalist, gave the following information in her press statement to halagazeteciyiz.net:

“My Mother’s health condition is at the critical stage. Her blood pressure is constantly low. She is suffering from headache and abdominal cramps. She is having difficulty in taking liquids. She has insomnia. She is losing weight.”

Temizkan declared that her mother refuses any sort of treatment and medical examination and her fever, blood pressure and weight was controlled everyday. Temizkan quoted her mother’s motive for hunger strike as, “She wants the government to get him to contact his lawyers. These interviews are critical for the maintenance of social peace. Her objective is peace to take root in these lands and to bring peoples together and to live an equal life with their rights.”

Sabiha Temizkan stated that her mother’s hunger strike was not given enough support from different parts of the society and said: “Other opposition parties in the Parliament did not say even a word about my mother’s hunger strike. This is sad. A deputy is on hunger strike for 90 days and this is ignored. I hope this shame ends.”

Temizkan evaluates the release of her mother after going on hunger strike, “Of course I’m very happy. Her imprisonment was already unlawful. But when its timing is considered, it’s hard to interpret this decision as ‘justice was secured’, because my mother wasn’t released for 7 months even after she was elected as a deputy. This shows that this decision is closely related about her hunger strike. In other words, they didn’t prefer my mother to continue her hunger strike in prison.”


Fatma Kurtulan, group deputy chairman of PDP, made a press release to halagazeteciyiz.net and stated that there were 295 prisoners on indefinite and irreversible hunger strike and 48 of them were women.

Kurtulan mentioned that there were 19 politician and activists currently on hunger strike for the same purpose in Erbil Representative of PDP, Galler and Strasbourg. “Currently, there are 315 people are on hunger strike with Leyla Güven. Except Güven, the first group, which started on December, 16th, 2018, is on the 52nd day. Co-chair of Democratic Regions Party Sebahat Tuncel and former Hakkari deputy Selma Irmak also went on irreversible and indefinite hunger strike” she said.


Kurtulan remarked that solution of the question was to ensure regular visits of the lawyers and the family of Öcalan- who have been disassociated for over 3 years. “This demand is not illegal, on the contrary, the demand is the implementation of the rules and legislations. Just as all other detainees are meeting with their families and lawyers, it is a demand that they be allowed to meet with Öcalan” she said. Kurtulan added that the hunger strike would only end if these demands were met.

Kurutlan drew attention to the problems those PDP deputies are confronted with even visiting to imprisoned co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ and stated that “We have been subjected to discrimination even for visiting the deputies in prison. For example, while the RPP (CHP) can visit the prison comfortably, we cannot visit our friends.”


Kurtulan, group deputy chairman of PDP, answered our question that whether they negotiate with governmental authorities for the solution of the question as follows:

“We already declare the things have to be done in General Assembly of the Parliament, in our group speeches, our manifestations and our public press releases. The Parliament should take this in hand.  Ministry of Justice should review this embargo. Inhibition of lawyers and the family should end.”

Kurtulan announced that they will sit-in in the Parliament with all the deputies who are currently in Ankara, to draw attention to this situation after the General Assembly of the Parliament.


On behalf of Libertarian Lawyers Platform (ÖHP), Lawyer Raziye Öztürk said that there are disciplinary inflictions to the prisoners who are on hunger strike irreversibly and indefinitely. Öztürk  draws attention to people who are aggravated life imprisonment are in solitary confinement and adds that “These people need companions. But companions are not allowed.” Öztürk also reminds that weight, pulse and blood pressures of hunger strikers should be regularly checked and says “Some prisons force hunger strikers to prison infirmary.”

Öztürk states that vitamin B is not provided for hunger strikers in Bolu prison and in Silivri, half of the sufficient rate is given. “Hunger strikers should get carbonate but this is not given in most of the prisons. Carbonate is not been provided in prison canteens, although it is demanded.” she says.

Translation: Ekin Değirmenci

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